God gave Amos to prophesy about the coming judgments

Amos received these prophecies, and when he served as a herdsman, they were revealed to him, Amos 1:1. It was not something that he spoke from his own imagination or feeling. For no prophecy of scripture ever came about by the prophet’s own imagination, nor was it borne of human impulse; rather, men who were carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God, 2 Peter 1:20,21.

And we will do well to keep this in mind whenever we hear a prophet speak or whenever we prophesy ourselves! God gave Amos to prophesy about the coming judgments that He had decreed with regard to several Nations.

These judgments were pronounced by God from Jerusalem out of Zion, vs 2, and we’re spoken in relation to the following Nations:

  • Damascus and their King Hazael because of their harsh treatment towards the people of Gilead, vs 3-5;
  • Gaza and their ruler because they deported a whole community and sold them to Edom, vs 6-8,
  • Tyre because they too sold a whole community to Edom and failed to observe a treaty of brotherhood, vs 9,10;
  • Edom because he chased his brother with a sword and he wiped out his allies, 11,12;
  • Ammonites because they ripped open Gilead’s pregnant women so that they could expand their own territory, vs 13-15;
  • Moab and it’s leader and officials, because they burned the bones of Edom’s king into lime, Amos. 2:1-3;
  • Judah because they rejected the Lord’s law; and they did not obey His commands and walked in idolatory, just like their fathers did, vs 4,5;
    Israel because they sold the innocent for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals.

They also trampled on the dirt-covered heads of the poor and pushed the destitute away. They showed disrespect for God’s moral purity and stretched out on clothing seized as collateral. And they did so right beside every altar! They drank wine bought with the fines that they levied and did so right in the temple of their God, vs 6-8! And they did all this evil, even though God destroyed the Amorites for their sakes and gave them their land after delivering them from the Egyptians, vs 9,10; and made some of their sons as prophets and some of their young men as Nazirites!

However, they made the Nazirites drink wine; and commanded the true prophets not to prophesy, vs 11,12! For all these reasons and more, God was determined to visit them with judgment, such that the fast runners among them, as well as the strong men, the brave-hearted warriors, the archers and the horse riders would be no match to stand against the same, vs 13-16!
These prophecies indicate that God is keeping a close watch on the manner in which we treat others, and especially when they are at our mercy!

Inhumane treatment of others, no matter how evil they may be, as well as idolatory, rebellion, oppression of the poor, needy and destitute, immortality, ingratitude in return for God’s goodness and mercy shown, silencing the true prophets of God, being a source of stumbling to others and taking advantage of debtors, were some of the sins that God took very seriously, and eventually prophesied judgment on those who refused to acknowledge their sins in this regard and turn from the same!

Let us not believe the lie that we too can do such things and imagine that God will overlook the same on account of His grace! Judgment may take a long while in coming because God does not desire the death of the wicked, but once the time is over and we still choose to harden our hearts on account of the deceitfulness of sin, then we will surely be judged too.

The wonderful hope that we can have, however, is that though God sends His prophets to warn us of impending judgment, yet those who choose to repent wholeheartedly on hearing of the same, can still have the great hope of being forgiven, redeemed and restored because of God’s mercy and heartfelt desire that none perish, but all partake of eternal life in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.